filed under: community & partnership development
Prepared by Mary A. Hanson and Kandee Haertel
The future ability of people to enjoy and keep horses in open spaces will hinge largely on the efforts of today's equestrian users. What is the alternative? Loss of trails for equestrians. Now is the time to get organized!
The crisis of diminishing access to land and trails can be lessened by equestrian trails advocacy groups. They empower and coordinate individuals to take action and make their united voices heard.
These groups are by nature grassroots and distinct, offering a means for preserving and creating equestrian trails where no one else would be concerned. Who better understands the issues and reaps the benefits than the direct user group? Their power lies in the simplicity and integrity of their mission, their passion for their endeavors, and their clear vision of the task before them. Their power is in being practical and focused, growing to become a strong, effective organization.
Equestrian trails groups can seek funding, engage partners, educate landowners and other trail users, raise public awareness, and provide support, both physical and political.
Using these guidelines is one part of a major endeavor to become successful. The other ingredients include a wide-reaching vision, cooperation, political savvy, and just sheer luck. Remembering there will be setbacks to deal with and brick walls to knock down will keep the group ready to face whatever comes along. One or a few people can start, but it will take a cooperative effort to accomplish the goal to assure horse trails in the future.
Published August 2014
Everything you need to know about the positive impact of trails on health, environment, economics, and more.
A 48-mile water trail along the Chattahoochee River in Georgia. The water trail is contained within the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area (NRA).
In April 2021, the City of Columbia, South Carolina used Recreational Trails Program (RTP) funds to improve the Owens Field Pump Track
Created based on the idea that hiking is an activity that can—and should—be fun and accessible to all, these guides provide 20 family-friendly and wheelchair accessible hikes per state.